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Goddesses march to the Dáil

category national | environment | news report author Wednesday March 14, 2007 10:41author by M. Ni Bhrolchain - The Campaign to Save Taraauthor email muireann at savetara dot com Report this post to the editors

March 8th 2007 - International Women's Day

The three goddesses of sovereignty of Ireland, Ériu, Fótla and Banba, were represented by three women who walked to the Dáil as part of the Campaign to Save Tara. This was International women's day and was intended to draw attention to the relationship between women, the land and its sovereignty in early Ireland.

Three goddesses walk to the Dáil
Three goddesses walk to the Dáil

On Thursday 8th March three women walked to the Dáil, where a Proclamation was read out. The Proclamation asserts the rights of the people of Ireland to their heritage and historical places, and the duty of the Government to protect that heritage. The demonstration is organized by the Campaign to Save Tara to protest at the routing of the proposed M3 tolled motorway through the Tara/ Skryne Valley in Co. Meath.
The three women represent the three ancient Goddesses of Ireland; Ériu, Banbha, and Fódhla, who traditionally stand for Sovereignty, Wisdom and Justice. The protesters claim that these three principles are being breached by the proposed motorway.
The Proclamation says:
“The Government and National Roads Authority scheme to deface the Tara/ Skryne Valley with the M3 tolled motorway signals a massive National and International tragedy that must be prevented. The destruction of our ancestral past inflicts a wound on the collective memory and so this cultural vandalism presents a clear and present threat to the welfare of future generations.
Today, International Women’s Day, we call on the Government, particularly the Taoiseach, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to reverse the decision to build the M3 in an area which is both timeless and priceless”.
Deputy Emmet Stagg (Labour) came out to meet the women and to hear their concerns about the route of the road.
In addition to the re-routing of the road the protesters want the Tara/Skryne Valley designated a World Heritage Site. Under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which was signed by Ireland in Paris 1972, the area of the Hill of Tara fulfils all three categories as a World Heritage Site; having being created intentionally, having evolved organically and being of cultural importance.
The Campaign to Save Tara is a new umbrella group based in Navan, its General Election campaign strategy will be formally launched in the next few weeks.

Campaign to Save Tara
Campaign to Save Tara

Goddesses reclaim the roads
Goddesses reclaim the roads

How to stop the traffic in Dublin
How to stop the traffic in Dublin

Onlookers
Onlookers

author by M. Ni Bhrolchain - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:48author email muireann at savetara dot comReport this post to the editors

Emmet Stagg TD (Lab) met the marchers and listened to their concerns regarding the routing of the road.

I also add the latest article on the issue -
Village Magazine, Thursday, 01 March 2007
The road to nowhere
Written by Colum McCann
(Accompanied by a photograph of the summer solstice, Hill of Tara)
In his extraordinary examination of landscape, history, texture and storytelling, Connemara: Listening to the Wind, Tim Robinson says that “right living in a place entails a neighbourly acquaintance with those who lived there in previous times”. What Robinson suggests is that whoever we are now is whoever we were long ago. We arrive from those who went before us – their stories, their architecture, their failings, their journeys. Roads, indeed, go great distances. It is quite possible to believe that there’s a stretch of Broadway in the intimate heart of every Irish family, whether they’ve been to New York or not. And more than likely, there’s a stretch of motorway near Heathrow that’s meaningful in terms of loss or gain for whoever amongst us has arrived there, or departed from it.
Things connect, and in whatever connection there is lies a certain mystery. Robert Frost, the American poet, knew full well that way leads onto way, and most of us doubt that we will ever come back.
There is no great reason for the proposed M3 to come to New York, as indeed there’s probably no great reason for it to touch the Hill of Tara, but it did recently, in the smallest, most personal way. I have an eight-year-old son, John Michael, to whom I recently read a children’s book about the Irish High Kings. It was hardly thrilling stuff, but he loved the idea of the Stone of Destiny, the ancient coronation stone. He was fascinated by the notion that the stone would roar when touched by the true king.
“Did it shout”? he asked. I said I had no idea, but I imagined so. “Good,” he said, and then asked, “Have you ever been there?” Many times, I told him, even once when I was his age. His eyes lit up, as young eyes do at the impossible wonder that their fathers had ever been the same age as them. “Did you ever hear it roaring?” he asked. I said I didn’t, but I bet it would for him. He smiled, and a few moments later he turned into his pillow.
Who knows what happens in a child’s imagination? In the end, we have nothing for them but our stories. These stories, like our children themselves, prop us up like old bits of scaffold. I kissed my son goodnight and that was it.
Just a few hours later a series of photographs were sent to me via email by Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, a professor of Celtic Studies at NUI Maynooth. Ní Bhrolcháin has been heavily involved in the campaign to save the Tara/Skryne valley. I was hardly stunned to see, in the photographs, that work on the M3 had already begun, and to hear that trees were being ripped up in and around the Gabhra Valley, which happens also to be the site of the proposed interchange at Blundelstown. In other words, near the heart of the matter. It seemed that the National Roads Authority and Meath County Council were trying to get a jump on construction so that the proposed re-routing of the motorway could not take place.
So be it. Roads find their places. This is the age of fact and figures. The three kilometres at the Tara/Skryne valley are the ones that are most contentious. Few people dispute the wider issue of the need for a better road. Defenders point out that the motorway is a full 1.2km from the Hill of Tara. It will take 30 minutes off the journey between Dublin and Cavan. Some even claim, amazingly, that it will restore tranquillity to the area. There is even the argument that the road and its floodlights will become part of the archaeology of the future. Hallelujah, the future says. A four-lane highway. Another stone of destiny.
But we bury the past only when we’re ashamed of it. The stories that most deeply need to be told are the ones, necessarily, that we don’t want to tell.
We have a responsibility to heritage, environment and, indeed, imagination. Yet very few meaningful Irish debates these days seem to take place in anything but the realms of time and money. Half-hours are crucial to the economics of the future. Those who oppose these notions are labelled contrary, dreamy, romantic, populist. Even when viable new routes are proposed, like the reopening of rail links from Navan to Dublin, the proponents are labelled simplistic. But nothing is simple, not even simplification. There are many hands upon the dabbing brush, and they tend to be well-moneyed ones.
It’s a long way from New York to the Hill of Tara, of course. I’ve been told that I should keep my “bourgeois”, “emigrant”, “sentimental” nose out of the debate. It is not my story. It is not my road.
But someone like Tim Robinson knows full well that the road has gone back an awful long way: if we are not to be ashamed in the future, we must take whatever care we can of our past. In a strange, naïve way, I think my son, here in New York, might understand this too. Put the road elsewhere. It deserves to go somewhere, after all.
These are our roaring stones – and sometimes they take root in the most unlikely places.

Approaching the Dáil
Approaching the Dáil

A proclaimation is read
A proclaimation is read

Emmet Stagg (TD Lab) listens to the proclaimation
Emmet Stagg (TD Lab) listens to the proclaimation

And meets the marchers
And meets the marchers

Photographers at the Dáil
Photographers at the Dáil

Related Link: http://www.savetara.com
author by Witty Witch of the Weshst - Campaign to Save Tarapublication date Wed Mar 14, 2007 17:48author address www.savetara.comReport this post to the editors

Dear triple Sovereignities....
Great photos and great action!
I'ts so lovely to see that on the face of challenges and adversities people keeps their humour their spirits and their strenght.
Well done all.
We fight as one, we laugh as one, we cry as one, we work as one...till Tara gets the respect it deserves...(and when i say Tara, i mean also that wide open space in people's heart and soul that Tara represents)
These actions keep the people attracted to this campaign that keeps growing...keep the feel good factor up!!!!

author by Duinepublication date Thu Mar 15, 2007 13:47Report this post to the editors

Na bandéithe go deo!

 
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